Free RFID educational, training targets ‘skills shortage’

By Control Engineering Staff August 18, 2006

New radio frequency identification (RFID) software tools and training resources are available at no charge from IBM in an effort to accelerate the understanding and adoption of RFID, and address what it calls “shortage of RFID skills in the workplace.” These technologies and learning resources will be available on alphaWorks, IBM’s online outlet for emerging technologies.

A major obstacle in the adoption of RFID is the critical shortage of internal RFID expertise that companies are experiencing, IBM says, citing a recent report from Aberdeen Group. By sharing its expertise in RFID technologies, IBM would like to enable businesses of all sizes to learn about RFID and simulate how emerging technologies can improve the way in which products and goods are handled and tracked.

Resources will include a graphical tool that allows developers to simulate how an actual RFID implementation will work in their business and an educational toolkit that IBM says will equip developers and students with the resources to understand how RFID technologies work, how to develop RFID applications, and best practices for implementing RFID technologies.

IBM also is collaborating with universities and providing students with RFID resources and training through IBM’s Academic Initiative, a program offering a wide range of technology education to meet the goals of thousands of colleges and universities around the world. For example, IBM and the University of Arkansas, Sam Walton College of Business, are working together on a project which aims to automatically identify inefficiencies in large quantities of RFID data and then implement process changes to improve efficiency and return on investment.

“As the demand for emerging technologies like RFID continues to rise, IBM is committed to providing developers and students with tools and resources needed to work with these technologies and obtain jobs in the IT industry,” said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations, IBM.

A new resource in the RFID section of alphaWorks is IBM’s RFID integrated solution enablement (RISE), which will attempt to help clients identify the business need for RFID and create a customized solution.

IBM also is unveiling two new development kits to help developers and students meet the growing demands in the marketplace for a trained and skilled RFID staff.

Click here for more information on the RFID section of IBM’s alphaWorks.

—Edited by Lisa Sutor , Control Engineering contributing editor